OREMUS: 12 September 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Sep 11 19:10:44 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Monday, September 12, 2005 
John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York, 1830

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Shepherding God,
undaunted you seek the lost,
exultant you bring home the found.
You touch our hearts with grateful wonder
at the tenderness of your forbearing love,
revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ. 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever.

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 116

I love the Lord,
   because he has heard the voice of my supplication,*
 because he has inclined his ear to me
   whenever I called upon him.
The cords of death entangled me;
   the grip of the grave took hold of me;*
 I came to grief and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:*
 'O Lord, I pray you, save my life.'
Gracious is the Lord and righteous;*
 our God is full of compassion.
The Lord watches over the innocent;*
 I was brought very low and he helped me.
Turn again to your rest, O my soul,*
 for the Lord has treated you well.
For you have rescued my life from death,*
 my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord*
 in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
   'I have been brought very low.'*
 In my distress I said, 'No one can be trusted.'
How shall I repay the Lord*
 for all the good things he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation*
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord*
 is the death of his servants.
O Lord, I am your servant;*
 I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;
   you have freed me from my bonds.
I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people.
In the courts of the Lord's house,*
 in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

A Song of Divine Love (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)

Love is patient and kind,
 love is not jealous or boastful,
 it is not arrogant or rude.

Love does not insist on its own way,
 It is not angry or resentful.

It does not rejoice in wrongdoing
 but rejoices in the truth.

Love bears all things and believes all things;
 love hopes all things and endures all things.

Love will never come to an end,
 but prophecy will vanish,
 tongues cease and knowledge pass away.

Now we know only in part
 and we prophesy only in part,

But when the perfect comes,
 the partial shall pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
 I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.

But when I became mature,
 I put an end to childish ways.

For now we see only puzzling reflections in a mirror,
 but then we will see face to face.

Now I know only in part;
 then I shall know fully,
 even as I have been fully known.

There are three things that last for ever,
  faith, hope and love,
 but the greatest of these is love.

Psalm 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

READING [Matthew 19:1-12]:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left
Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the
Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he cured them
Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked,
'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any
cause?' He answered, 'Have you not read that the one who
made them at the beginning "made them male and female",
and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father
and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall
become one flesh"? So they are no longer two, but one
flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one
separate.' They said to him, 'Why then did Moses command
us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce
her?' He said to them, 'It was because you were so
hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your
wives, but at the beginning it was not so. And I say to
you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity,
and marries another commits adultery.'
His disciples said to him, 'If such is the case of a man
with his wife, it is better not to marry.' But he said to
them, 'Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only
those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have
been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been
made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have
made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of
heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.' 

For another Biblical reading,
Ezekiel 21:1-17

Words: Anna Laetitia Waring, 1850
Tune: Nyland    
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In heavenly love abiding,
no change my heart shall fear.
and safe in such confiding,
for nothing changes here.
the storm may roar without me,
my heart may low be laid,
but God is round about me,
and can I be dismayed?

Wherever he may guide me,
no want shall turn me back.
my Shepherd is beside me,
and nothing can I lack.
his wisdom ever waking,
his sight is never dim.
He knows the way He's taking,
and I will walk with Him

Green pastures are before me,
which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be over me,
where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
my path to life is free.
My Savior has my treasure,
and he will walk with me.

The Benedictus (Morning), the 
Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

We rejoice in your generous goodness, O God, and
celebrate your lavish gifts to us this day, for you have
shown your love in giving Jesus Christ for the salvation
of the world. Especially we give thanks for
     the labors of those who have served us today...
                             (We thank you, Lord)
     friends with whom we have shared...
     those whom we love and have loved us...
     opportunities for our work to help others...
     all beauty that delights us...

Gracious God, we know you are close to all in need, and
by our prayers for others we come closer to you. We are
bold to claim for others your promises of new life in
Jesus Christ, as we claim them for ourselves. Especially
we pray for
     those in dangerous occupations...
                              (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     physicians and nurses...
     those who are ill or confined to nursing homes...
     for those whom we love and for those who love us...
     those who mourn...
     the Roman Catholic Church...
     the Diocese of Saskatoon, Canada,
     The Revd Rodney Osborne Andrews, Bishop-Elect..

you shared the limits of our life
to save us from the snares of death;
may we have the courage to walk before you
in the land of the living,
and witness to your presence before all the people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Revive your Church, Lord God of hosts, 
whenever it falls into complacency and sloth, 
by raising up devoted leaders, 
like your servant John Henry Hobart 
whom we remember today; 
and grant that their faith and vigor of mind 
may awaken your people 
to your message and their mission; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.      

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us delight in the mercy that has found us
and bring all to rejoice at the feast of forgiveness. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating
Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis
1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle and the first collect are from _Common Worship: Daily
Prayer, Preliminary Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops'
Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing prayer use phrases from a
prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is from _Book of Common Worship_, (c)
1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

After the American Revolution and the Independence of the United States, the
Episcopal Church, under public suspicion in many quarters because of its
previous association with the British government, did very little for about
twenty years. John Hobart was one of the men who changed this.
John Henry Hobart was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 14 September
1775, the son of a ship's captain. He was educated at the University of
Pennsylvania and Princeton University, ordained deacon in 1798 and priest in
1801. Called as assistant minister to Trinity Church, New York, in 1803, at age
36 he was elected assistant bishop of the diocese in 1811, becoming diocesan
in 1816.
To look at John Henry Hobart, you wouldn't have predicted greatness. Height
always distinguishes, and he was notably short. Blessed with attractive blue
eyes, he was nearsighted and forced to wear thick glasses. In an age of
marmoreal gestures in the pulpit, he was melodramatic. At a time of dignified
eloquence, he spoke rapidly, with emotion. When most men were reserved,
even with their families, he was warm, whether with ambassadors or farmers,
to the point of being thought odd.
Most bishops were content if they bestirred themselves for episcopal acts a
hundred miles from home. Hobart had the energy of ten men: horses dropped
under his exertions and he thought nothing of a winter visitation of 2,000 miles
in western New York or 4,000 at a more seasonal time.
Early in his career he tackled publicly issues still dubious in the American mind:
episcopacy and apostolic succession, arguably besting in print a redoubtable
Presbyterian opponent.
He founded two institutions: a college in Geneva (later Hobart College) and
General Theological Seminary in New York City, breaking his health to get
both off the ground.
He not only looked after the Diocese of New York (46,000 square miles and
virtual wilderness west and north of Albany) he served as rector of Trinity
Parish, the wealthiest and most influential church in the country. Agreeing to
oversee the diocese of Connecticut, since its high- and low-church party roils
had prevented the election of a bishop, he covered its parishes more thoroughly
than any bishop ever had. New Jersey, similarly bishopless, appealed to him,
and he looked after it as well.
He knew all the clergy in the Church generally and in his own diocese
intimately. He was aware of their background, remembered their families,
forgave their frailties, and appreciated their strengths. He watched over his
candidates for Holy Orders with a paternal interest, meeting with them weekly.
His instinct for politics never overrode his principles. Once convinced of
the rightness of his position, no wave of unpopularity would budge him. His
friends adored him and even his enemies credited him with frankness and
fearlessness. He held no grudges and played no games, two qualities that
endeared him to many. In a turbulent New York State election for governor, a
common saying was that only Hobart would have been easily elected.
He took 26 clergy at the beginning of his episcopate in 1811 and quintupled
them to 133 by his death; watched the number of parishes increase from about
50 to almost 170; and confirmed roughly 15,000.
This lovable, indefatigable, type-A bishop went virtually nonstop from his
ordination until his death. The only surprise was that he didn't die sooner. At
midnight, September 7, 1830, a young clergyman rode in a stage through
Auburn on his way to Binghamton. Passing the rectory of St. Peter's Church,
he was puzzled to see a light so late. He rapped for the stage to stop and soon
learned from the rector, John Rudd, that Bishop Hobart was ill. Francis
Cuming remained to assist in any way he could.
Hobart's illness wasn't that surprising. Troubled for years with what was most
likely a bleeding ulcer, with rest and medication he would generally rebound. In
Auburn he had preached and confirmed and other than a slight cold, seemed
fine. But soon the serious nature of his attack became clear and he cancelled
the remainder of his visitation. Over the next few days, he frequently requested
to hear portions of Lancelot Andrewes's litany, in which he would join.
Amidst his pain, Hobart found time to offer advice to Cuming: "Be sure that in
all your preaching the doctrines of the Cross be introduced: no preaching is
good for any thing without these." Cuming writes: "His pains were so severe
he could not give his mind to them unless they were short, and when I had
invoked our Heavenly Father to continue to be gracious to his suffering
servant; and that whereas he had studied to approve himself to God upon
earth, he might be permitted to stand approved by his Master in heaven, he
interrupted me by saying, 'Amen: O yes, God grant it, but with all humility I
ask it.'"
"On Friday, September 10th, just before the going down of the sun, and as its
last rays had forced themselves through the blinds, and were playing upon the
wall not far from the bed, he said, 'Open the shutters, that I may see more of
the light; O how pleasant it is; how cheering is the sun--but there is a Sun of
Righteousness, in whose light we shall see light.'"
Cuming again: "There were times when he was peculiarly oppressed. The
promises of the Gospel, however, would revive him. At one of those times he
said to me with the most remarkable emphasis, 'Comfort me.' The reply was
'Bishop, it is written, the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.' - 'So it is, so it
is,' he added; God be praised for that, God be praised for all his mercies - God
be merciful to me a sinner!'"
On Saturday, at a bedside service of the holy communion, when Rudd "came,
in the confession, to the words, 'by thought, word, and deed,'" the bishop
stopped him and said, 'You know the Church expects us to pause over those
words: pause now, repeating one of the words at a time till I request you to go
on.' This was done, and the pauses in each case were so long that a fear passed
over our minds that he had lost his recollection or fallen asleep. This, however,
proved not to be so; he repeated each word, and after the third pause added:
'Proceed, I will interrupt you no more.'"
Early Sunday morning, September 12, 1830, John Henry Hobart died, aged 55.
The funeral took place in New York City on September 16. The mourners
included the governor of the state and the mayor of New York City, and the
procession was estimated at nearly 3,000. The third bishop of New York is
buried under the chancel of Trinity Church, New York. [Cynthia McFarland]

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